Categories A Spy Among Friends Print Media Review

REVIEW: A Spy Among Friends So Good It Should Be Savoured Not Devoured

Small Screen Spectacle

by Susan Knox | Irish Mirror | December 8, 2022

ITV kindly launched an adaptation of another Ben MacIntyre book, A Spy Among Friends, the opening episode of which made me want to do exactly what the opening episode of Rogue Heroes made me want to do: Dive in and watch the whole bally thing in one go.

That was a possibility, thanks to it being available on ITV’s new streaming platform ITVX. (No, me neither – but it’s the future, apparently.) However, I decided that the small screen spectacle of Damian Lewis, Guy Pearce and Anna Maxwell Martin at the top of their games should be savoured, not devoured.

In A Spy Among Friends, Pearce plays infamous Cold War defector Kim Philby, while Lewis plays his dear friend, MI6 colleague and (suspected) enabler Nicholas Elliot.

As a viewer, it perhaps works best if you don’t know too much about the story – but if you are a Cold War buff, you can always spend your time raging about the fact that a fictional character has been introduced.

That’s Maxwell Martin as MI5 investigator/interrogator Lily Taylor, whose mission is to discover how much Elliott knew about Philby’s treachery.

Basically, she’s Ted Hastings’s nemesis Patricia Bloody Carmichael from Line Of Duty, only with a North East accent and dreadful woolly tights.

And once she gets Elliott in the interview room and pulls out the old tape recorder?

Well, as Hastings might have said had he lived in the 1960s, that’s when we’re really sucking National Benzole.

Read the rest of the original article at Irish Mirror